From a place where viticulture and city culture connect
A mere 20 minutes from the centre of Cape Town, Durbanville Hills is one of the closest cellars to the Mother City. The panoramic views are more than just spectacular. The area’s close proximity to two oceans and the swirling mists and breezes that cool the vineyards, together with the endless variety of hills and slopes, promises wines that truly reflect the area’s unique terroir. Here, the grapes ripen slowly to perfection and the result is a range of cool climate wines with intense fruit appeal, finesse and complexity that reflect their unique provenance.
It's all about the location
The Durbanville ward is one of the oldest wine-growing areas in South Africa. Most of the farms were allocated as freehold properties during the early 1700s and the area was soon noted as an exceptional location for planting vines.
The small town of Durbanville, formally established in 1886, began as a resting place for travellers who stopped to replenish water and food supplies, creating a demand for fresh meat and a market for cattle farmers. Soon cattle farming was supplemented with wheat production and as early as 1702 the first surplus of wine was recorded.
In the late 1990s seven grape farmers and Distell agreed to build a cellar as part of a joint venture to make their own wine. Durbanville Hills released its first vintage in 1999 and today there are nine member farms, all located within a 10km radius of the cellar, continuing the legacy of generations of wine growers.
The member farms share a rich history, with the oldest farm established a mere three years after those in the Constantia area in 1685, and the youngest, Klein Roosboom, established more than two centuries ago, in 1714.
The Durbanville area is among the coolest wine-growing areas in the Cape Winelands. The south-easterly wind which blows off False Bay over the Cape Flats in summer, and then mostly in the late afternoon, is surprisingly cold as it comes sweeping over the contours of the hills, drenching the vineyards in cool, moist air even on the hottest day. And when the southeaster is not blowing, a westerly wind comes off the cold Atlantic to do the same.
The hills of Durbanville rise above the flat surrounding landscape which is virtually at sea level. Together these hills and valleys provide an almost endless variety of slopes, soil types and micro climates that stabilises temperatures and eliminates extremes of heat and cold, making it possible to grow a range of classic cultivars with equal success.